Do you know someone who makes a difference in your community, and who you would like to see acknowledged for going above and beyond?
The Rotary Club of Ashcroft/Cache Creek is now calling for nominations for its Citizens of the Year: people who contribute to our area in a variety of ways. There are four categories:
– Ashcroft and Area (sponsored by Interior Savings)
– Cache Creek and Area (sponsored by Royal Bank)
– TNRD Area “I” Blue Sky Country (sponsored by the Thompson-Nicola Regional District)
– Student/Youth from any area (sponsored by Rotary)
As far as club president Theresa Takacs knows, the Citizens of the Year initiative is unique to Ashcroft/Cache Creek Rotary, and is now in its 18th year. The honorees are traditionally recognized at an annual banquet, but due to COVID-19, the 2020 event for the 2019 recipients — Esther Lang (Ashcroft), Shelley Magwood (Cache Creek), Carol Madden (Area “I”), and Vivian McLean (student/youth) — had to be cancelled.
There was also no banquet in 2021, again due to COVID, and the club said that the collective recipients for 2020 were all the frontline workers — in health care, firefighting, retail stores, and more — who went beyond their comfort zones during the pandemic to help others, often at risk to themselves.
The club was finally able to gather again in June 2022 to honour the 2019 and 2020 recipients, along with the 2021 honorees: Al and Marijke Stott (Ashcroft), Pat Moyer (Cache Creek), Paulet Rice (Area “I”), and Jacob and Michaela Aie (student/youth) in 2021.
Each recipient receives an individual plaque they can keep. Larger plaques listing all the recipients in each area are on display at Interior Savings in Ashcroft, the Royal Bank in Cache Creek, the Ashcroft Library, and Desert Sands Community School.
“We’re looking for people who show leadership skills: how they’ve led a group of people, or influenced them in a positive way,” says Takacs. “Maybe they’ve accomplished something that hasn’t been done before.”
Takacs adds that the club is particularly interested in hearing about people who might otherwise fly under the radar. “Maybe they’re someone who just keeps on carrying on, quietly going about doing stuff that often goes unnoticed.”
The Ashcroft/Cache Creek Rotary club has been active for many years, supporting events in the region and presenting scholarships for graduating students at Desert Sands Community School.
One of their most visible projects is helping to maintain the historic Chinese cemetery in Ashcroft. More than two decades ago, the Ashcroft/Cache Creek Rotary club and the Ashcroft and District Lions club partnered to restore the cemetery, which had fallen into a state of dereliction. Together, members of the two clubs, along with community volunteers, have maintained and improved the site ever since.
Takacs told the Journal in 2021 that while Rotary was originally intended for business people, anyone who wants to be part of the community, or has ideas about projects that would help build community, is welcome to join.
“It’s an exciting time because of everything that’s happening,” she said. “I want to look at other avenues for fundraising to keep our projects going, and would like to encourage youth leadership, so I hope to start the communication to get a group going at the school again.
“And I’m looking forward to figuring out ways to build. I really believe in this group. It’s not just in our community but part of a community at large, all around the world.”
The club is planning an award banquet honouring the 2022 recipients in spring 2023. In the meantime, anyone who would like to nominate someone for 2022 can submit the name of their nominee, along with a summary of their activities and their contact information, in an email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org; mailed nominations can also be sent to P.O. Box 11, Ashcroft, B.C. V0K 1A0. The deadline for nominations is Jan. 31, 2023.